Marie Gould (MBS Government 2014)

I am delighted to have recently completed my MBS in Governance at UCC with first class honours.  I commenced the course as a part-time student in 2012 not having studied for over 20 years.  Whilst I found it initially daunting, the programme head and team were very supportive and open in all modules.  The coursework is busy with lots of assignments and essays, but very topical and interesting.  I was introduced to topics in political science that I had never previously studied and which have sparked new interests for me.  In my own work role within policy making and regulation, it has given me a broader and fresher perspective, and enabled me to develop research skills and structure in presenting my work.  Overall, it was both challenging and busy, but also certainly a very rewarding learning experience.  I feel a great sense of achievement having completed it.  

Marie is working as a Further Education and Training Officer with the Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI).

Derville Brennan (MBS Government 2014)

In September 2011 I started a MBS Government in University College Cork and graduated in February 2014. The course was offered with an option to be completed over two years which facilitated combining full-time work with part-time study. Re-visiting formal education after an absence can be quite a daunting but exciting experience. I work as a Research and Communications officer for the Southern and Eastern Regional Assembly and a number of the MBS Government modules were directly applicable to my work but others offered opportunities to explore disciplines considerably outside the scope of my day to day experience. The course was always challenging, never dull and attendance at class with a committed team of lecturers and enthusiastic class mates on my weekly visit to Cork, added greater depth to my learning. The staff of the Department of Government never failed to bring a fresh perspective to their subjects. Completing the course has helped me in my role as a researcher and has re-ignited my interest to grapple with and question what we mean by the concept of Democracy.

Aidan Halley (MBS Government 2013)

During my time in the MBS Government I acquired a number of skills that I had not already gained in my undergrad programme. When you reach postgraduate level you have more of an opportunity to choose your own pathway in research. The MSB programme introduced many new exiting topics and theories that allowed me to discover what academic road I wanted to venture down.

The course helped me accumulate value life skills that are useful in the working world, such as critique writing, PowerPoint presentation and research techniques. The MBS really strengthened my CV and has made me a stronger candidate for future employment opportunities.

My interests included New Public Management, Globalisation theories and Minority Language Progression. The course allowed me to use the knowledge I had gained from the year and also to develop the what learned to my undergrad  in order to formulate a comprehensive this. In the end, I choose to write my thesis on how much the European Union has actually aided Irish language progressive in a contemporary era. Writing this paper really tested my abilities academically, and also means that I now have the chance to develop my thesis further at PhD level.

I would recommend this Masters for everyone who has an interest in discovering their own political areas of interest within a friendly, helpful and supportive environment.


Garett Kelleher (MBS Government 2013)

As a person intent on contesting the 2014 Local Elections, I returned to college in Autumn of 2011 (after a ten year absence) to begin the MBS Government programme (on a part-time basis over two years) in an effort to prepare myself for life as a public representative. While I occasionally found it difficult to strike a balance between my college work and my professional commitments, I cannot overstate the importance of the MBS Government course in preparing me for representative politics. Without any doubt, I can say that the programme has had an enormously positive impact on my self-confidence and I would strongly recommend it to any post-graduate student with an interest in government and politics.


Kelly Kirkpatrick - George J. Mitchell Scholar 2012-2013

Hi. I’m Kelly Kirkpatrick, and I am a 2012-2013 George J. Mitchell Scholar, and postgraduate student in the MBS Government program at UCC. The George J. Mitchell Scholarship, named after the US Senator who was instrumental in the Northern Ireland peace process, was started in 1999 with the goal of furthering the relationship between Ireland, Northern Ireland and the United States.  I feel privileged to be a part of the Mitchell scholar community, whose curiosity, passion, and success are a true inspiration to anyone trying to make a difference in the world.

While the Mitchell has afforded unique opportunities to meet and exchange with leaders in Irish and Northern Irish politics, culture, academia, and business, my time at UCC in the Government has allowed me to pursue my academic interests. 

UCC’s Government Department, situated in the College of Business and Law, seemed the ideal place to understand not only the fundamental political questions around state-civil society relationships, but was able to ground these questions in the broader business, legal, and social contexts that shape Irish government and civic life.

Thus far, the program has provided all this and more. Our discussions around governance, political participation, regulatory reform, democratic theory, and security have brought up issues and perspectives in the Irish context that I had not considered.  I have also had the opportunity to meet community and voluntary sector leaders, and plan to write my thesis on the role of private philanthropic institutions in the Irish state-civil society relationship, with particular attention to the funding of advocacy and deliberative democratic experiments. 

While I have yet to decide if the next steps after my Mitchell year in Cork will be to continue in academia or return to work in the US or abroad, I know that my UCC Government training, with its focus on both Ireland and the broader European and Global governance context, will serve me well. 

Kelly Kirkpatrick

Lorraine O'Donovan (MBS Government 2010 - Part-Time)

Deciding to undertake a part time Masters was a daunting prospect, I had many anxieties about balancing the workload of college with my full time job, however these fears were unfounded.

The course was highly enjoyable and stimulating.  The Department of Government staff members were enthusiastic and passionate which was clearly evident in the teaching methods used.  The programme was both intensive and challenging academically and personally.  I found that the modules were entirely relevant to life in Irish society today which made the course even more interesting.

Lorraine O'Donovan


Rotary Scholar Katie Hamilton (MBS Government 2010)

Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar Katie Hamilton enjoyed her time on the MBS Government Programme 2010.

I have the extremely good fortune of being a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar and the even better fortune of studying at UCC for the year. A bit about how this Chicago girl came to Cork:

Like many students, I wasn’t very familiar with Rotary before I received this scholarship. I discovered the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship through a mass e-mail from my university and spontaneously decided to apply. Thank goodness I did. Little did I know that this was the world’s largest privately funded international scholarships program, and nearly 38,000 students from about 100 nations have studied abroad under its auspices.

Once I was accepted, I had to preference five institutions in three countries. Rotary seeks to place scholars all over the world, so this is a sort of mutual selection process which ensures that scholars reach all ends of the earth which still getting some say in their fate. Rotary placed me at UCC and that is how I landed in the MBS Government program.

This scholarship involves much more than a flat grant to study abroad. Rotary stresses the ambassadorial aspect and expects scholars to spread goodwill and friendship abroad by meeting with Rotary Clubs in and around the host country. They also encourage scholars to undertake a community service project while abroad. As I already have a degree in Journalism, I decided to put my talents to good use and focus on promoting a greater understanding of Ireland. I’m currently working on a video series entitled “Ireland Today” for the Irish American News. I’ve been traveling around the country interviewing two people from every county – all 32 – of different backgrounds and occupations, from farmers to educators to bankers to government officials. For all those Irish Americans back home (of which there are many, especially in Chicago), they may have a very different picture of the “old country” than that which actually exists today. I want to paint that picture for them, using the words and perspectives of Irish citizens. I may have underestimated this project initially but there is no turning back now! From Co. Kerry to Kilkenny, Derry to Dublin, I’ve already met some interesting characters and I can’t wait to see who else comes along as I make my way across this island.

But I can’t forget what I actually came here for – academics. Because I already have a master’s degree in Political Science, I expected some level of overlap in terms of material; however, it’s been just the opposite. I’m analyzing the same theories and policies learned at the University of Illinois but with new applications and within less familiar contexts - the European Union, for one. I may be well-accustomed to questioning and evaluating the rights, rules, and regulations that exist in the American government, but that all changes on this side of the pond. This year has been a welcomed academic challenge and is truly one of the best learning experiences I have ever had. Add to that amazing faculty and classmates, and you may begin to realize just how much this year means to me.

I have Rotary to thank for the opportunity to study at UCC and the Department of Government to thank for making this a truly wonderful experience. I only hope that upon graduation, I might find work that allows me to continue this adventure just a little bit longer.


Picture: Professor Neil Collins, Department of Government with Katie Hamilton, her mother and Dr Michael B. Murphy, President of UCC

Yangyun Li (MBS Government 2009)

As a Chinese student, studying for the MBS Government in UCC was an extremely valuable experience for me. It was a good way to have a thorough understanding of European politics and culture, as well as current global issues.

The courses were interesting and exciting. Sometimes they were challenging, but my verbal expression and academic writing were improved by the study and practice. My research and analytical skills were also developed. The research methods proved very useful both for my academic studies and my career work. In addition, the Departmental staff are very kind and nice. They made me feel welcome all the time. Undertaking the MBS Government is really worthwhile and for me the experience was hugely worthwhile.



Picture: Professor Neil Collins, Department of Government, UCC with Ms. Yangyun Li (MBS Government 2009) in BTBU Bejing March 2011.


Fergal MacDonald talks about studying the MBS Government

I really enjoyed the programme, at a practical level it developed my analytical and research skills and improved the standard of my report and paper writing.  On a personal level it provided a great source of intellectual stimulation and the collegial atmosphere made the programme extremely enjoyable.  The job to which I was assigned involved quite an amount of research. I have no doubt that the skills that I picked up on the programme were of huge assistance to me in the preparation, structuring and analysis of reports. (Fergal MacDonald, 2006 graduate).

Department of Government and Politics

2nd Floor, Block B, O'Rahilly Building, University College Cork, Republic of Ireland